Some children show an affinity for something from the time they are very small. Others, however, aren’t nearly as obvious. While every child does have talent in something, it may not be easy for parents to spot. It may seem like your little one, while normal, simply has no specific skill or gift. Here are seven steps to help you unlock your child’s potential.

Step One: Observe

The first thing you should do is simply watch your child. What does he enjoy doing? What is she most often found working on when left to her own devices? Keep an eye out for trends in your child’s behavior.

Step Two: Understand

What do you think of when you think of a talented child? For most people, music or sports come to mind when they consider a child gifted. Or you might think of art, math or another academic skill.

It’s important to note that these are not the only talents you can have. Some are not as tangible, such as kindness or the talent to understand and have compassion for others. These are talents that many parents miss because they’re looking for the wrong things.

Step Three: Inspire

Surround your child with inspiration. If you’ve seen something specific in your observation, focus on this area. For example, a child who enjoys music can be taken to concerts, watch musicals or listen to a wide variety of music to give them ideas and inspiration.

If you still aren’t sure where your child’s talents lie, expose him to as many different life experiences as possible. These can include:

  • Visiting museums
  • Traveling to new places
  • Meeting artists and musicians
  • Attending concerts
  • Checking out art museums
  • Volunteering
  • Reading about people who did great things

The more experiences they have, the more likely your children are to find their purpose.

Step Four: Lead

Parents set an example for their children. What do you do all day? Do you work? Care for the family? Take a good look at your life and notice if you take time to use and model your talents for your child. While you may have very different gifts from your children, simply seeing you take action will help them do the same.

Step Five: Encourage

Once your children have started in a specific direction with their talents, you can encourage them to continue. Provide verbal encouragement and make sure your child has what he needs in order to take full advantage of his talents.

Encouragement also means being there for your children when they have classes or practice. When you show up, they feel like it’s more important.

Step Six: Promote

Giving your children encouragement and boosting their confidence is just one part of helping them improve their talents. You’ll also be promoting them as a parent. When your child needs help picking up a new skill level, you’ll be responsible for helping them reach that level, whether that’s through specialized training or certain resources they might need.

Step Seven: Listen

No matter what your child’s talent is, pay attention to his needs. He may be an amazing baseball player or artist, but there are times when children need to just be children, too. To avoid burnout, pay attention to what your child is saying and how he is acting. Sometimes, taking a break is necessary.

While everyone has a talent in some area, your job as a parent is to help discover it in your child. This is an important part of parenting successfully and is something that every parent can do, regardless of economic or social status.

7 Simple Steps to Unlock Your Child’s Talents